American Idol Fusion

This is a guest post by Ron Doren, Editor of The Drivers, an awesome car review and comparison site.

For the past several seasons, Ford has been one of the biggest sponsors for American Idol and despite tough times, 2009 is no exception. My day began driving to Hollywood to experience the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. Just a green day all around. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the fine people at Ford who were eager to show off their redesigned Fusion.

The overview was informative and we learned a lot more about this mid-size GREEN sedan like its class-leading 41MPG and that the Fusion is capable of running in EV or all-electric mode for speeds up to 47MPH. Ford also had Fusion Hybrid that was loaded with decals highlighting its achievement for traveling over 1,400 miles on one 17.5 gallon tank which is a new record. Of course that was done by some hypermile experts, but they did offer 10 tips for the rest of us who want to drive greener.

Ford Fusion Hybrid

Slow down and watch speed
Accelerate and brake smoothly
No idling
Check your tires
Be kind to your vehicle
Travel light
Minimize use of heater and air conditioning
Close windows at high speeds
Choose the right oil
Consolidate trips
Numbers are impressive, but it was now time to put the Fusion to the test via a mileage competition among auto journalists.

I had the more challenging part of the drive, taking the Fusion up through the Hollywood hills. Plenty of torque on tap, but the key was to use as little fuel as possible despite the challenging terrain. When I handed the Hybrid Ford to my co-pilot, the average MPGs was at 20.6. Not great, but considering the roads, very good, especially by non-Hybrid standards. My partner had the freeway drive as well as some downhill coasting opportunities to help us achieve a competition-winning average of 36.5 MPG! Not bad when you consider the size of the Fusion. That’s the same fuel economy I’ve been achieving with the Honda Insight!

Ford has come a long way and I have to admit, the 2010 refresh was more than just cosmetic. The Fusion drives better, looks better, and has been improved significantly on the inside thanks to better materials and better gauges. And of course we can’t leave out the Microsoft Sync system which is truly one of the best on the market.

The primary competitors for the Fusion Hybrid are the Camry Hybrid and Altima Hybrid. I’ve driven both of these cars and can honestly say that this Fusion Hybrid is just better. Looks better, drives better, and better interior. And best of all, it’s priced better.

One final word on the Fusion and American Idol. Ford made it clear that although the show is about young people, it actually appeals to a broad audience and therefore the Fusion makes sense. That may be the case, and I’m sure Ford gets a good return on their investment or the partnership would have been canceled quicker than a show on TBS, but I for one can’t wait until next year when the Ford Fiesta arrives. I drove it and it’s awesome. It will help on so many levels. First, it will give Ford its first legitimate compact car in America….EVER. Second, it will draw young buyers into Ford dealerships. And third it will prove that America can build a quality compact car that can compete with Honda and Toyota. I just wish the Fiesta was here today!

Posted by Ron Doren, Editor of The Drivers


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